I love the original Japanese version of Iron Chef. It took me a while to realize that it was fictional and that there was no actual Gourmet Academy, Chairman Kaga or Kitchen Stadium. I know you might think that makes me sound a bit like a moron, but unlike my brother I’ve always been a bit gullible and naive. And lets face it, the entertainment values of the Japanese tend toward the ridiculous and bizarre, so why would Iron Chef be anything but real? When I read an article that explained it’s fictional nature, I was crest-fallen. Damn them, damn them all to hell. I’d been hoodwinked again.
Still, my willing suspension of disbelief has not been daunted by knowing Iron Chef is a farce. That’s OK, I still love the show. I love the English overdubbed voices and the way they interpret their Japanese counterparts. Every female guest on the tasting panel has a giggly, airy voice and a vocabulary of 10 words, including “Oh, that’s so good (giggle giggle). I love the way Fukuisan, the play by play guy, refers to the roving reporter Ota as “big fella”. I love Dr. Yukio Hatori’s color commentary and knowledge of all kinds of international cuisine and kitchen techniques. And I especially love Chairman Kaga’s flamboyant and Vegas-like frocks, his frilly little collars and sleeves, his black gloves, his affected acting, the brazen way he bites that yellow pepper in the show’s open, he is marvelous. And if memory serves me correctly, William Shatner was the first choice as an American counterpart. Who better to play the American version of Kaga than the most successful over-actor of all time!
And as for the American version, FEH!! Bobby Flay is a blue corn encrusted, black bean popping, chili flinger and, in my humble opinion, isn’t fit to sharpen Morimoto’s knives. And while I love Mario Batali’s cooking and have learned a lot from watching his various shows, he comes off as a pompous, sweaty, self-important egomaniac. And who is that dweeb they have playing the Chairman? C’mon, man, we KNOW this is fake, we KNOW this isn’t real. Why do I believe the Japanese version but am just insulted that the American version is trying to make me think it’s real? It’s an enigma.
Anyway, back to the title of this post. Every time I watch Iron Chef I hear the same words and phrases and when I hear these words and phrases in every day speech, I think of Iron Chef. Everything seems to “accentuate the sweetness” of the theme ingredient, as if every theme ingredient has inherent sweetness. They talk about the “savory aroma” of the dishes and how things “match perfectly” with the theme ingredient. And then there’s the giggly ingenue that always seems to mutter “so good” through a hand daintily covering her mouth.
So, here’s my plan. It’s a drinking game that you and your friends can play when you watch the original version of Iron Chef. Here’s how it goes…and of course, you can make up your own versions.
When the characters utter these words, drink as follows:
When Fukuisan says “Go ahead, big fella”, take a sip
When the Chairman says “if memory serves me correctly”, take a sip
When a guest chef says “I’ll do my best”, take a sip
When the female taster says “soooo good” with her hand over her mouth, take a sip
When they use the following phrases, take a shot or finish your drink:
“accentuates the sweetness” or “the natural sweetness”
“heightens the flavor”
“bang a gong, we are on”
Please add your own phrases as they occur. And please don’t let friends drive drunk. Allez cuisine